IT Connect
Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Microsoft Clutter (Focused Inbox)

Clutter is an Office 365 tool that filters the messages in your Outlook inbox and moves out those that it predicts are not important to you. The messages are moved to a folder called Clutter.

Focused Inbox is Microsoft’s long-term replacement for Clutter. For more information, see this post from the Outlook Blog. From the blog post:

“We have received feedback from our customers and in response we are going to postpone the retirement of Clutter at this time.

Focused Inbox is where we will continue focusing our development efforts and we encourage you to transition your users for the best experience. Customers can continue to use Clutter, but we will not be investing in it further.”

Bypass Clutter handling for critical messages

If your unit sends email messages with content of critical importance to UW users it may be possible to have those messages exempted from being placed in the Clutter folder. Please contact help@uw.edu for more information.

Note: The existence of a folder called Clutter does not mean that the feature has been enabled.

To Enable or Disable Clutter for Your Account

  1. StepsActions
  2. Go to OWA (Outlook Web Access).
  3. In the top-right corner of the screen, click the gear icon, and then towards the bottom of the gear menu click Mail under Your app settings.
  4. On the left side of the screen, click the arrow to the left of the word Mail to expand the list.
  5. Expand the Automatic processing option if it is not already expanded.
  6. Click Clutter
    • If Clutter is enabled, the option Separate items identified as clutter is selected.
    • If Clutter is disabled, the option is not selected.
  7. To enable or disable Clutter, select the appropriate option.
  8. Click Save.

If Clutter is on but not working

Turn it off then back on, i.e. disable Clutter and then re-enable Clutter for your account.

Clutter learns from your actions on messages

Clutter learns from your actions to determine the messages you are likely to ignore. You must train Clutter to know what is important to you by moving emails that you want to pay attention to out of the Clutter folder and by moving unwanted items in.

Retention policy on the Clutter folder

The Clutter folder is a system-created folder. You cannot delete it, nor can you control retention policy for that folder. The Clutter retention policy is to never delete, unlike the Junk Email folder, where content is deleted after 180 Days.